Immigration dept. looking for someone to head complaints unit
Minister of Immigration Elsworth Johnson said yesterday that the Department of Immigration is currently searching for someone to head its complaints and corruption department.
“We are pushing the digitization of the immigration department to bring it into the 21st century,” Johnson said.
“We are doing a vigorous process of customer relations retraining, where we will have secret customers.
“We are in the process of vetting for someone to head our complaints and corruption department.
“That person will have the authority to go anywhere in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and conduct investigations without notice to immigration officers about complaints in the immigration department.”
Since the passage of Hurricane Dorian last September, there have been allegations of abuse by immigration officers.
Johnson insisted that immigration laws are being strictly enforced on Abaco.
However, he again warned Bahamians against harboring undocumented migrants.
Hurricane Dorian leveled parts of the Abacos, which was known to have a large Haitian population, last September. Since then, immigration has been a prominent concern for many on the island.
“We are enforcing in Abaco,” said Johnson.
“We are also supporting the environment of reconstruction, where there is not the skilled labor in The Bahamas and you want to bring someone in, we just want to make sure that there is a transfer of expertise and knowledge.
“But we want to warn persons of the offense of harboring and assisting persons who may not be rightfully here, because the enforcement of the immigration laws is meant also for the protection of people.”